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NATS 1760-RISK SOCIETY.docx

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Department
Natural Science
Course
NATS 1760
Professor
Darrin Durant
Semester
Fall

Description
SC NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/ JAMES ELWICK Monday, October 1, 2012 Science in Contemporary ‘Risk’ Society Pg. 178-187  When asked to evaluate the risk involved in relation to nuclear industry, scientists are being asked to male calculations based upon a combination of probabilistic risks that cannot be predicted  accusations of political motivation  expectations that it can answer all questions and maintain social prestige  science‟s reliance on „cognitive immunity‟  The concept of „risk‟ has become one of the central organizing principles in social theory  the problems are products of human action  The current debate on risk between the two themes unite and divide the work of back & Douglas: 1) united in observing the risk of „risk of consciousness‟ – the perception that we‟re increasingly at risk from the consequences of human intervention in nature  is a heightened sense of insecurity in „risk society‟ the result of greater consciousness of self-generated ecological risk? OR is heightened risk the result of greater social insecurity? o Beck latter view o Douglas both combined 2) Beck suggests society and science as a part of society must both be more „reflexive‟ in their acceptance of expert knowledge – Douglas questioning all forms of authority that leaves human beings feeling insecure and vulnerable  DOUGLAS: re-establishing trust in scientific authority  BECK: re-establishing trust in science by encouraging science to act less authoritarian  Mary Douglas attempt to apple principles of Durkheim‟s general sociology to the understanding of pollution and taboo  social solidarity has broken down conscience collective and has produced and individualism whose consequences is „pathological‟ insecurity  „risk‟ becomes the danger individuals are exposed to by „the system‟  modern emancipatory individualism escapes responsibility by blaming those „in charge‟  Douglas provides an integration as keys to the formation of social solidarity  „grid‟= social regulation  „group‟= social integration with sub groups  Douglas presents four „institutional personalities‟ 1) Fatalists- high grid powerlessness & low group identification 2) Hierarchalists- integrated & regulated; believe in the system and are dependent upon it 3) Individualists- unregulated ambition & self-destruction 4) Egalitarian- weak sense of social order & strong altruistic identification with their group GROUP LOW HIGH HIGH (a) Fatalist (b) Hierarchalists GRID LOW (c) Individualist (d) Egalitarian  Douglas & Wildavsky apply this grid to „environmental risk consciousness‟  fatalists feel nature is unpredictable  heirarchalist nature is robust within limits( best solution for modern insecurity)  individualist nature is robust – it is not risky and everything will turn out right at the end  egalitarian sees nature as both risk and risky  Beck believes technocratic domination is the problem  in line with Douglas in his account of risk consciousness  cultural indignation chooses between matters of the highest „objective‟ urgency by cultural symbols and experiences that govern the way people think and act  The feudal ordering principle has been the hierarchal governance of heaven, man and nature  industrial societies introduced risk associated with transition from „traditional‟ way of life to modern‟s society  Risk society emerges as faith in the etat providence „assurance state‟  The economic „technocracy‟ must intervene more radically in nature, while the political „technocracy‟ must seek to increase the knowledge of the world by which the citizen can be safeguarded from natural and self-generated danger  intensifying production comes increasingly to undermine itself though unintended consequences, when the economics good l
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